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Language tests for EU doctors practising in UK

New rules mean EU doctors working in the UK can now face a language check if there are concerns about their English. Until now only doctors from outside Europe could have their language skills tested by the General Medical Council.

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Language tests for EU doctors a 'huge step forward'

New rules to help check foreign doctors' English language skills are a "huge step forward for patient safety", the Health Minister has said.

Previously EU doctors could practise in the UK without having to pass a language test, while those from outside Europe could be made to prove their grasp of English..

European doctors could now face a language test if there are concerns about their English. Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The new powers mean the General Medical Council can order a language test if "serious concerns" are raised about a doctor.

Health Minister Dr Dan Poulter said: "For the first time ever, we have a full system of checks in place to prevent doctors working in the NHS who do not have the necessary knowledge of English from treating patients."

"This is a huge step forward for patient safety. I am pleased to have played my part in making this happen," he added.

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